Posted by Lenlo on 10 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:

Welcome to the final episode of The Reflection. This week is both the best and worst episode of the season, with highs and lows, in both animation and story. Rather than my usual fare of just walking through the episode bit by bit though, I am going to try something different. We are going to focus on what made this final episode what it was.

There are four main areas to touch on with this final episode of The Reflection, those being the Idols, X-On, I-Guy and Wraith. Each one represents an issue with this episode and the series as a whole. Before I get into that though, lets talk about the animation for this final episode. For the first half, it was great. Combat against no-named background characters was iffy, but between our named characters it worked well. The flaming dogs from Flaming Fury, the tiger from X-On, colliding in the air all looked great with Reflection’s art style. With everything coming to a head and the time finally being taken to use this art to its fullest, it really worked. It flagged in the second half, as as less important characters fought, but that still ended up being about average for the season.

Now on to the problems. First, the Idols. This pop idol group exists only because they sing the ED of The Reflection. They were absent the entire season, quick snippets of their life being shoved between other scenes, as they were slowly ferried to the plot. Their one saving grace is that they were not used as a Deux Ex Machina to finish the plot. Yet with that taken from them, they no longer have any purpose! They provided some amusing scenes together, gave us the beautiful opener in episode 1 and had some cute interactions with I-Guy, but that is it. As a piece that already had character focus problems, adding in more ancillary characters was not a good idea.

Speaking of I-Guy, lets talk about the best part of The Reflection, that being Ian Izette. Ian was not the best character ever seen in anime. In fact he would no doubt be out of place in most. Yet he was still to good for The Reflection. By this final episode, Ian was the only character I cared about. He had a clear history, clear motives, clear goal and clear faults. The entire season Ian was getting hit. First his ego, as I-Guy became more famous than him, the opposite of what he wanted. Second when X-On chastised him for how he conducted himself and finally when his friends and coworkers were killed. He had a clear path and story arc. Even in this final episode as he strips away the armor of I-Guy to simply be Ian, standing up against evil and walking towards Wraith when no one else could. He went from a cartoony superhero to simply a man trying to be a hero. Ian was the best part of The Reflection, and he wasnt even the main character.

That label belongs to X-On, or more accurately X-On and Eleanor. The problem with X-On that he wasnt a character, atleast not to the viewers. He rarely spoke and everything about him was shrouded in mystery. Where did he get his powers, what happened with the lab, who actually is he? Instead of getting any answers we are instead given more questions. Flashbacks to his life, just enough to tease us, but far to late to have any meaningful impact on the plot. He epitomizes the lack of character growth or focus in this series. Had they taken some time to focus on his life in those black and white flashbacks, perhaps we would care about him more.

Finally, lets touch on Wraith, our main villain. Wraith is a faceless villain with unknown powers, unknown origin and a tenuous connection to Eleanor, one of our leads. Wraiths issue is that he has to many things going on. At first he was interesting, as he taunted Ian and distracted him from his team. Yet as we learned more about him, his background only got weirder. Is he the dead, now alive again, brother of Eleanor? Did her soul get split in two by the Smoke and Light?  They tried to do alot of things with Wraith, so much so that they started to run into each other. They didnt have the time to flesh any of them out, instead opting for an end of the world like story.

All in all, The Reflection finished acceptably, but not well. It avoided Deus Ex Machina, mostly, and gave us a clear view of what is to come for our characters. They attempted an interesting idea, the super powers clearly a focus of the story and not just made to profit off of Hero Academia and other comic book like anime. Sadly, it just didnt work out. There is an obvious setup for a second season, yet I would be surprised if The Reflection got one after the poor reception this season.

That wraps up this episode everyone! The full review should come soon. I have alot to say, and some of bled into here, so apologies for that. See you then!

Posted by SuperWooper on 10 October 2017 with categories: Ballroom e Youkoso, Currently Watching:

The unstoppable Anime Catch-up Train continues with a Ballroom doubleheader. These two episodes weren’t aired on the same day like 4 and 5 from the previous cour, but they might as well have been, given the way they complimented one another. Chinatsu has stolen not only the spotlight, but every bulb in the damn house at this point, but her peculiar personality needs explaining, and that’s what these episodes set out to do. For all the popularity that the tsundere trope enjoys, I’m glad that Ballroom decided to dive into Chinatsu’s background and explore what makes her tick, rather than carelessly dropping her into the cast and coasting on Japan’s love for girls who play hot-and-cold. If it hadn’t taken the necessary time to examine her character, her clashes with Tatara would be even more frustrating than they are now (even if the OP blatantly foreshadows them).

When I first read the Ballroom manga, I had a theory that Chinatsu was a lesbian. It might not be the most open-minded assumption in the history of fan theories, but there was at least some justification for it: her initial fangirling over Sengoku is revealed to be a smokescreen for her obsession with Hongo (his total babe of a partner), and her rivalry with Akira has the faintest hint of yuri undertones to it, given their history as dance partners. Because of the anime’s faithfulness to the manga, I was reminded of that past speculation when watching these episodes, but something else jumped out at me, too – Chinatsu’s desire to be normal. In a quiet scene where she’s doing a bit of spring cleaning, she appears torn between repairing and giving away a pair of dancing heels, but when her mom asks whether she’s thinking of getting back into the sport, she recoils at the notion. Similarly, she initially mocks and rejects Tatara for his interest in ballroom dance, but agrees to practice with him even before roping him into a scheme to humiliate Akira.

The thing about Chinatsu is that she suffers from role confusion. Having been forced into the leading position in her juniors partnership, where girls dance together, she tends to take the lead in other situations, as well – but only if she gets a clear signal that it’s okay. So when Tatara confidently admits to the class that he participates in ballroom dance competitions, she keeps her passion hidden; but when he nervously abandons a request for her to practice with him, she coolly agrees, and steers the flow of their waltz to boot. Chinatsu wants to be normal, but she knows that leading isn’t “normal” for women, neither on nor off the dance floor, which results in that signature hot/cold personality. Tatara isn’t exactly charmed by it, asking himself some variation of, “What is with this girl?” probably ten times over the course of these two episodes. This became exasperating after a while, but I can understand his bewilderment, since Chinatsu is so different than either of the other partners he’s had thus far.

The conflict between our resident redhead and her old partner Akira was beautifully set up, with Tatara caught in the crossfire at his new part-time job. Seeing him standing diligently at attention in his spiffy new uniform, even after his boss told him to take it down a notch, got an audible laugh from me. The atmosphere in the café became a lot frostier once Chinatsu walked in the door, though, as Akira pays her ex-leader a series of scathing backhanded compliments, all while asserting her superiority as a dancer and a woman. Although she looks like a high school boy’s dream, Akira is more than capable of going for the jugular, and in her rush to scrape together a rebuttal, Chinatsu declares that she and Tatara will partner up and defeat her at the Mikasa Cup. Despite their incompatibility, they perform well at a qualifying novice round, but first place is snatched from them by a pair of dancers under the tutelage of Marisa Hyodo, who appears just before the credits roll. Always the provocateur, she accuses Tatara of forcing Chinatsu to do all the work in their routine, cementing his dawning realization that he doesn’t know how to properly lead. From this point on, the series will be intensely focused on his journey to understand both the rigid requirements of ballroom dance, and the thoughts and feelings that drive his new partner. Without spoiling anything, I can reveal that it’ll be a long time before he manages either task, so I hope you’re strapped in for the ride.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 10 October 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Kino’s Journey

Short Synopsis: Kino travels to a country where the law allows people to kill.

AidanAK47’s review

Ah Kino, how I missed you. I am a really sucker for these kinds of moral parables and from the first episode this show looks to be continuing the tradition well. Not really a sequel nor is it a remake, it appears to be a mixture of old and new as we start off with a brand new story and are moving into an old story that was adapted before. The next episode is one of my least favorite of the old series but we shall see how it does with a new coat of paint. Speaking of which the visuals of Kino have gotten a significant upgrade which could throw people off who prefer the rougher storybook style of the original series. Personally I am fine with the new artstyle and the only points I had a problem with where the two parts where they replaced kino with a CGI puppet when parking her motorrad. It’s small but a little jarring when you see it.That said, Kino was never about the visuals, it’s about the story. From where I see it they are adapting that aspect of it fantastically. Now for the hope that this would be revealed to be a two cour series because that would be marvelous.

Potential: 95%

Mario’s review

Kino’s Journey is back, with a new gown. With its updated character designs, the new version of Kino is more like a reboot than a continuation of a 2003-series, meaning there will be some old tales that receive new treatment again. Don’t know how I feel about that until I see how the new versions play out. About the original series, although I consider the arts fairly ugly, it fits perfectly to the narrative theme of the series (which curiously name as The Beautiful World). I don’t mind this new art of Kino’s Journey, Kino looks pleasantly detailed and overall it brings the same tones of the original series, but sometimes when they rely on the use of  it looks distracting. The first tale sets the show in the right footing, not amongst the best tale we’ve seen but still leaves plenty food for thought. People who hasn’t checked out the original show will have no problem approaching this new material, as this episode bookends the premise of the show and gives us some necessary dynamic between Kino and Hermes. Next week will be a story that original fans are all familiar with: Coliseum, and next week might be a good chance to see if this new adaptation falls under superior or inferior position compared to the 2003 version.

Potential: 85%

Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou

Short Synopsis: Two girls ride their tank around in the post-apocalyptic world.

Lenlo’s Review:

A post-apocalyptic/war slice-of-life focused on two girls riding around in a small truck? Normally this wouldn’t be my fare, but in Ryokou it just works. There are a lot of reasons for this. First, the two characters play off of each other very well. There’s rarely a wasted word, with one clearly enjoying talking more than the other.That combined with their silent communication makes it clear they have done this for awhile, there’s a history to their actions. Second Ryokou tells its world through its environment, with a destroyed industrial city, scattered weapons and snow covered metal. It’s so bleak, yet the colored night sky makes it beautiful. Everything feels abandoned and the complete lack of people aside from our leads Chito and Yuuri go a long way in helping this effect. Finally, there’s the design/direction of Ryokou. The detailed background with our almost childlike characters, with the occasional detailed shot of their hands or boots put in. The well-crafted CGI, unique camera angles like our shot spinning with a bullet fire at some cans. Everything about Ryokou shows the passion and skill that went into it. So long as the character interaction stays fresh, as everything hinges on Chito and Yuuri. Based on the ending of this first episode, I don’t think that will be a problem, so I can’t help but recommend Girls Last Tour.

Potential: 85%

Mario’s review

This show’s just tailor-made for me, I love absolutely everything about it. Cute girls in a dark, post-apocalyptic world with a light-hearted slice-of-life approach? Count me right in. The first strength of the show lies in its settings, the world that is void of people, only the remains of machinery, weapons lie around everywhere. This world is conveyed not by the info-dump, but by the empty atmosphere it produces. Not a single life beyond our two girls, all they do is riding around and looking for food. The strong chemistry between the two leads, Chito and Yuuri, make up for its second strength. They share a great bond together and they hold my attention throughout the first episode with how comfortable they are with each other, something that is important since they have to carry the show themselves. Thirdly, it’s the slice-of-life approach that we see them carry on with their lives, enjoy little moments they have. It helps that the direction also favors small moments, sometimes relies on off-screen actions, body gestures, or long zoom out from our protagonist. This show has such a well-crafted direction and it does feel cinematic, I tell ya. Finally, for those of you who worry that this show is an one-extended premise with little variations, this first episode focuses on one little theme at a time that still manage to pack an emotional little punch at the end. Girls Last Tour is a ride that worth taking.

Potential: 80%

Net-juu no Susume

Short Synopsis: A recently dismissed Salarywoman decides to get sucked into an MMORPG

AidanAK47’s review

This show has that aspect where the RPG is presented in this animated fashion from within, but the reality often shows the game to be rather simplistic visually. It’s understandable as it’s likely how the player happens to see that world but it does make me wonder as to what the reality version of certain scenes is. For example there is a scene where one of the characters goes up to the bar and is depressed. So did the player walk her up to the bar and play some sort of depressed gesture? Well ignoring the imaginary alternate reality game vision this is a nice show with a decent start. I really like that the protagonist is a woman in her twenties instead of some generic teenager.(Though as if some parody she makes a generic male teenager avatar to play as in the game) It’s a rather heartwarming story that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The animation isn’t the strongest but it works for the story. The question is where does this story go from here as I wonder just how this romance will develop between these two despite them playing opposite to their genders. Now that the woman is up to speed on how to play the game it’s a wonder as to just where the story will go from here. Still as of now I am rather curious.

Potential: 40%

Mario’s review

Net-juu has such a simple concept: a NEET girl who plays game online as a dude has a close encounter with an online girl who in real life is a working man. Yet, so far it’s adorable and charming. The main draw I believe is the lead characters who are in their twenties, as such they behave more believable and their social awkwardness feel more relatable. I also like how difference in arts between the real world and the fantasy game world. Fruits de Mer has a feel of escapist place and the real world is accordingly washout and down to earth. The chemistry between the two mains is rock solid here, it has a proper development and the cast so far is likable. Despite it, the production feels rough at times and I just hope the show doesn’t take too long for the two to meet in real life. Net-juu has a promising take-off, now let’s see how they will manage to fly and land safely.

Potential: 40%

Posted by AidanAK47 on 10 October 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Just Because!

Short Synopsis: Two old friends reunite in high school as a new semester begins for their classmates.

Mario’s review

Damnit, like it or not, a comparison between this one and Tsuki ga Kirei will certainly rise because they produce the same atmosphere, with the same focus on teen romance and their growths and even the emphasis on social chatting amongst teen. At that, there are two elements that work against Just Because, the first being the low-frame rates. Considering it’s from Pine Jam, a relatively new studio, and I witnessed how they struggled at maintaining the production quality in Gamers, I have my concerns. For the show that focuses heavily on quiet, static moments this issue might be not that critical, but even then if the first episode was already that shaky I am worried on how the rest would turn out. Second, the character designs aren’t that good to be honest, they’re kinda plain, neither realistic (multiple hair colors here) nor special. For the show’s credits, only with one episode the main players have enough character actions and you can see each of them have their own circle of friends and their own lives, something I find really well done. There’s a solid chemistry between two lead males here and I hope that they can provide that same amount of dynamic between each member of the main cast. The ending certainly hits its home-run but can they maintain that sparks throughout the rest of its run? I’m definitely looking for more and I hope people can shake off their Tsuki ga Kirei’s comparison because it doesn’t do either Tsuki ga Kirei or Just Because any good.

Potential: 70%

 

Wooper’s Review

I have to be honest – I was nearly catatonic by the end of this episode. Just Because wasn’t one of my most anticipated shows of the season coming into this premiere, but its emphasis on characters and mood is just what I look for in my anime. If I had to pick a word to describe the mood of this series, though, it would be “sleepy.” That’s not just because watching it made me tired, either; the main character sports an “I got three hours of sleep last night” expression for most of his time on screen, and the show’s low-energy conversations between classmates don’t provide much of a hook. I’m down for naturalism and table setting and all that good stuff, but there ought to be a reason to keep watching week after week, and I didn’t find that here. The show split itself too thin between its five primary cast members, which rendered the final home run scene totally impotent, even with its marching band score and slow-motion finish. I would have preferred a narrower focus on Eiji and Haruto, complete with glimpses of their past friendship/rivalry, to strengthen the final moments of the episode. The reveal that Eiji’s old flame attends his new school is good news for fans of love pentagons, but given how messy and unfocused this episode was, I can’t recommend it to any other subset of anime fans.

Potential: 40%

 

Ousama Game

Short Synopsis:

AidanAK47’s review

Oh, forgive me. I made a small misunderstanding with the preview of this show. I originally thought this would be an adaption of the first story in the series but it appears they decided to adapt the sequel instead. That said, everything I said in the preview still applies here and boy, this is awful. I mean this is just terrible. The main character is busy being a mopey emo after going though the events of the first story and it’s hard to have sympathy when we don’t know what he went through and when he just seems to have a chronic problem of not explaining himself. I mean he could explain the situation to the classroom and give them decent forewarning but instead keeps saying vague warnings and evidently argers everyone, including the audience. Still this may have so bad it’s good value to some as it really is just like a low budget slasher film. However if you think you might get something of genuine value out of this then I am sorry to say you would be greatly mistaken.

Potential: 0%

 

Mario’s review

This show is beyond stupid. Are we supposed to root for that guy in all honesty? He is the worst-written character I’ve seen this year. It’s cringe-worthy just to see him doing every stupid action. And then some big-boob girl actually falls for him? AT FIRST SIGHT? Haizz. Then the game rules that make no sense. Don’t the rules say they have 24 hours to carry the order, so why the heck many of them being punished here? Then the orders are really stupid: Student A has to touch student B’s breast, because… ORDER! And then the killings are silly as well, what’s with all the supernatural deaths? To be frank, if they throw some creative ideas into those I mentioned above, I could give it another try (I still don’t mind Final Destination franchise for example, at least in that franchise I want to see how the deaths play out). This one is as lazy as it gets, and it even manages to be boring despite its death-game hook. Give me my time back. Inconceivable!

Potential: 0%

 

Infini-T Force

Short Synopsis:  Various famous Tonkatsu heroes are summoned into another world to fight a new threat  

AidanAK47’s review

Well it’s Japanese Tonkatsu Avengers! I will admit to only recognising two out the the cast of four but they all seem to be fairly famous tonkatsu icons.(Though I don’t see Kamen Rider anywhere) The visuals are pretty impressive by 3D animation standards but I do admit that at times it felt like I was watching a video game FMV sequence. Lots of flashbacks to Final Fantasy FMV, that’s for sure. So far it’s fairly watchable but I think this will be on the more campy side of things. For one I was rolling my eyes as one of our heroes talks to the blatantly obvious villain with the french phrases and didn’t happen to catch on that he might be evil. Action is quite good though I think the story is already stretching itself to accommodate shoving all these heroes from other universes. This is more a show for those fond of Tonkatsu fans as I did feel at times that I missing something due to be ignorant of the heroes themselves.

Potential: 30%

 

Mario’s review

Such a guilty pleasant surprise, because by no means should Infini-T Force work for me. I loathe Superheroes action genre, I am unfamiliar with those franchises the show crossovers, and I’m not fond with full CGI shows. On the last point, it’s mainly because full CGI animated shows look disorienting most of the time. Those I partly enjoyed (RWBY, some Chinese wuxia shows, Miraculous Ladybug and last year’s BBK/BRK) are understandably action-oriented shows, since those CG looks the most impressive in fight sequences. This show has that benefits and I can call the cast designs as attractive. The plot runs really thin here as with 2 episodes, it’s already full of plot holes and it runs like a game format now with all the villains waiting for our heroes in the stadium. But here I find myself enjoying it. The main cast is fun with lousy and campy dialogues and the production is solid enough for me to enjoy. At least I will follow it for a few more weeks.

Potential: 30%

Posted by SuperWooper on 9 October 2017 with categories: Series which were Dropped, Shoukoku no Altair

Well, this is awkward. I’m so behind on Altair that even a double episode review isn’t enough to get us caught up. Two months ago, I made the decision to discontinue my coverage of this series once it hit the halfway point, and even though episode 13 functions as the true conclusion to this arc, I’m content to finish things here. There’s no sense in laying out each of my issues with the show – you can read past reviews for that – but to put it broadly, the entire production feels hurried, and not just in terms of its breakneck narrative speed. There’s some good dramatic material in Altair’s story, but in the hands of a conservative director and an overworked studio, it rarely came alive for me. There was a big exception to that rule in one of these two episodes, though, so let’s talk about it… after refreshing ourselves on the details of the anime.

Several weeks ago, we left off with a plot to assassinate the sultans of the Turkiyean territories, who would all be in one place thanks to Prince Orhan and Aishe’s wedding. Now, word of this plan makes its way back to the Divan in Turkiye, who send a pro-sultanate representative to the ceremony. The envoy makes a pit stop at Balaban’s doorstep, however, and spills the beans regarding the trap waiting for him in Kuluch. Armed with this information, Balaban (and the other sultans) choose to march their armies to the wedding and conduct a preliminary strike against their would-be killers. But this leaves their territory undefended, and Zaganos quickly moves to seize control of their major cities. The show later frames this as a cause-and-effect scenario, and given Balaban’s blinding pride, it kind of is, but I do wonder what would have happened if he had refused to attend the wedding. The political fallout from that disrespect is nothing compared to the potential loss of your country, or even your life. Uzun, in particular, should have called in sick on invasion day – his only interest ought to be the completion of the trade route that would secure his nation’s financial independence from Turkiye.

All of that aside, “The Prince of Swords” gets good right at the end, when Orhan’s father goes back on his pact with Mahmut. Fearing for the safety of his people if the bloodthirsty Balaban breaks into the city, he attempts to kill Aishe and offer her head as a gift to him. Orhan, driven by love for his bride-to-be, kills his father to save her life. What makes this an especially remarkable move is that, earlier in the episode, he had learned that Aishe was in love with her uncle, and had no desire to be married. This is a character who was played strictly for laughs until this point, so when he came before his royal guard and confessed to the murder, decrying his father’s cowardice and proclaiming his own ascension to the throne, I got chills. Whoever provided Orhan’s voice did a fabulous job with this material – I almost looked to see who it was, but then decided I don’t want to associate that performance with any other characters. Even though I won’t be watching beyond these episodes, I hope that Orhan has some part to play in Turkiye’s post-rebellion landscape.

Speaking of the rebellion, most of the second episode is dedicated to the military struggle between Balaban’s forces and Mahmut’s. Though our heroes are outnumbered 4 to 1, Balaban brings only 5000 men into battle, not wanting to lessen the glory of his victory with superior numbers. This turns out to be his undoing, as Mahmut is able to eliminate most of his troops before luring the survivors into a narrow valley. It’s in this remote setting that Beyazit’s trump card from last month is finally put to use, as his musketeers use their revolutionary firepower to pierce the shields of Balaban’s strongest soldiers. As for the Red Tiger himself, he dies in his brother’s arms, despairing at the fact that the only person who truly loved him also helped to engineer his downfall. There were several flashbacks to younger versions of Balaban and Beyazit throughout these episodes, and while none of them particularly moved me, they did establish the two men as fated opponents, despite their affection for one another as children and young adults. Balaban was too big and too colorful a character for the rigid world of Rumeliana, so if he had to go, at least it was with a bit of nuance.

That’s it from me where Shoukoku no Altair is concerned. There’s still another cour to go, so if you’ve been enjoying the ride, I hope the show stays on course. The new fall season has produced a handful of worthwhile shows so far, so I’m itching to start blogging one of those instead. Whichever series that ends up being, I hope you’ll stick around as we transition to a new story and a new set of characters. Thanks for reading.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 9 October 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

URAHARA

Short Synopsis: Three girls are required to fight off aliens attacking their hometown.

AidanAK47’s review

Now here’s a show that doesn’t know what to do with itself. The plot itself is ludicrous and already lost suspension of disbelief once it showed that these three brainless dullards somehow run a fashion…dessert…artistic…well a company that creates something. The big problem that rears it’s head is that nothing is being taken seriously and as such the comedy i somehow supposed to be in the fact that our main characters don’t take the situation seriously. But that’s the only real joke and so the entirely of the entertainment is places on the interactions between the cast who are all just paper thin. It’s a shame because artistically it feels like real effort is being put in here but isn’t isn’t coming together. The backgrounds have a style of looking roughly hand drawn and the character designs pop out. But the dialogue just feels like it’s telling a joke that never gets to the punchline. It reminds me a little of that anime from Spring 2015 which was called punchline which had the same level of dissonance with comedy. My point is that it’s hard to get into a story where the main characters have effectively abandoned any sense of reality. If the characters are not invested in the story then why should we be?

Potential: 20%

 

Mario’s review

Haha damnit Urahara… you really went overboard here. From the streets of Harajuku, we have cute girls… fighting aliens who invaded the Earth to steal our… CREATIVITY. Yeah, the premise does sound like a harmless kiddie show, but Urahara is not without its charms. First off, it comes as a rather unusual project since it’s a Crunchyroll-born anime project that contains mostly female staffs. That piece of information doesn’t tell you anything about the actual quality of the show, mind you, but it’s something I can support wholeheartedly from behind. Second, if you judge Urahara solely on creativity, then damn this show sure has some. I love the soft backgrounds that make the Harajuku town come to life. The girls have some attractive costume outfits that further convince me that the creators draw them with those outfits before giving them the personality or making up a story. Because, ladies, the story is a mess and the acting is horrendous. It progresses randomly and never leaves much impact beyond its wacky atmosphere. The budget is tight here as they rely heavily on limited animation. Overall, Urahara remains a curious project. Despite its obvious flaws: the story that is near-nonexistent, the plot that moves in all directions and the characters that have depth as thick as toilet paper, it still establishes its own personality. There’s something that feel really “URAHARA-quese” here, something I can’t say for most of other anime shows out there.

Potential: 40%

 

Konohana Kitan

Short Synopsis: A fox girl goes to work for a hot spring inn.

AidanAK47’s review

Saber?! What the hell are you doing he…oh wait she’s got fox ears. Never mind. Well this show is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. You like cute girls? You like cute fox girls? Do you want Hanasaku Iroha but requiring less of your attention span or brain activity? Then this is the show for you. I am not completely immune to the appeal of girls acting cute but I find these shows often tune down the intelligence of the characters in order to make them seem more pure and innocent. You can have a girl be adorable and not need to turn her into an idiot. Case in point, I am currently playing through Muv Luv Unlimited and Kasumi is ridiculously adorable while at the same time being much smarter than the protagonist. There is nothing particularly bad about this show but at the same time there is nothing  that makes it stand out. It’s average for the genre and i suppose if you like this stuff then it could fill the void for the time being.

Potential: 10%

 

Mario’s review

Cute girls who work in an inn. I must admit that I always have a soft spot for “cute girls” genre hence I always find myself enjoy it more than regular viewers. Konohana Kitan falls right in the middle of this genre’s pack. We have a typical story of a wide-eyed country girl goes to live in the big city for the first time, she gets used to the live of the new environment and makes friends with other cute girls in the process. Nothing unusual here, although I think to judge this type of show you need to see how enjoyable it is, at that it does a fairly decent job. At least the main girl isn’t annoying or too pure to just follow anyone’s words unconditionally. I quite like the activities of the inn itself that remind me a bit of the classic Spirited Away. This show really goes all out with cherry blossom scene and god, it’s beautiful. Konohana Kitan hardly breaks any ground and the characters are hardly original and the story will get more generic from now on but if you want something light that lullaby your brain to sleep then this is just about perfect.

Potential: 30%

 

Tsukipro the Animation

Short Synopsis: Several boy bands prepare for a major live performance.

Mario’s review

I’ve mentioned that Boy Idol genre is already a low bar, remember? Well, this one manages to fail miserably even within its circle. The most terrible one is the designs of the cast – they look too perfect that there is an uncanny effect that further melt my brain, and by being too perfect they hold no real personality whatsoever. Then the plot isn’t remotely interesting or compelling. Apparently, the whole season will focus on the idol groups prepare and then perform in that Tsukipro events? Not that I really care. Furthermore, the use of CG is off-putting and lifeless. In fact, “lifeless” is a perfect word to sum up this production. This show, like its idol characters, have so little personality to speak of, as a result we could easily mistake it for some other male idol shows. Not that anyone really give a damn.

Potential: 0%

 

Wooper’s Review

Exposition and character introduction screens are the name of the game here. After one episode, Tsukipro’s main concerns seem to be that we 1) learn the names of all the attractive band members, and 2) pick a favorite, who will then entice us to stick around for another 12 spoonfuls of sterile jokes and mid-2000s CG. The production meeting where we learned about the big concert felt less like entertainment and more like an actual meeting that I was forced to sit through for work. The boys’ other responsibilities (photo shoots, TV appearances, radio shows) were similarly dry, though they didn’t manage to sink to the artless depths of that opening scene. If I had to point to one redeeming factor here, it would be the potential for conflict between the four different idol groups, but the mere existence of multiple bands is probably an excuse to feature more guys with different hairstyles and identical personalities. I had only seen a couple idol shows before this one, and they all made their character rosters as large and unwieldy as possible, as well. The bigger the net, the larger the catch, I guess.

Potential: One of the worst things I’ve ever seen/10

Posted by AidanAK47 on 7 October 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Juuni Taisen

Short Synopsis: Killers dressed to represent the 12 Zodiac signs gather to participate in a battle royale.

AidanAK47’s review

The first show I check out this season and I must say it’s starting on a high note. Nisio is a writer I am mixed on but so far this series is looking to be quite interesting as we have it focused on the backstory of a certain character as she goes to participate in this battle to the death. It features some of the most impressive CGI integration I have seen as I truly had to second guess myself on whether it was truly CGI. The character cast all seem to be quite quirky and the story presented so far has interested me. Though moreso the girls backstory of how she got selected to take part in the battle. I do think this could end up disappointing easily if the story goes a certain way but so far this is a very solid recommendation to check this show out.

Potential: 85%

Mario’s review

A bit of unrelated trivia about the Chinese zodiac. Although many countries from Asia celebrate the Chinese zodiac, we modify some animals from the Chinese origin to be more suitable with our traditions. Japan, for example, includes sheep instead of goat and Wild Boar instead of Piggie (the Vietnamese zodiac, in case you wonder, has Water Buffalo instead of Ox, and most noticeably we choose Cat in place of Rabbit). Does the Chinese Zodiac matter? Well, in my culture we still favor the system whenever any couple decide to get married to see if they’re best match. If they aren’t, game over. Maybe that explains why both the elopement rate and the unwanted pregnancy rate are quite high in Vietnam (Blame you Chinese Zodiac!!). Let’s back on track with Juuni Taisen, outrageous character designs aside, if the rest of the series is like this then we’d have a winner in our hands. The concept of a battle royale between 12 Zodiac warriors, while not original, is too entertaining to ignore. This first episode follows one of the warrior, the Boar, so we have a chance to see how the rules set up, meeting other warriors through her lens, and learn more about her backstory. As soon as her backstory begins I have a feeling she’d be the first to get send off, but that twist in the end means that she still remains “intact” in the story. As expect from Nisio we have more amount of dialogues than normal action show, but the action scenes are nicely done. All warriors so far have some interesting quirks and even just a mere 20 minutes I can remember most of them. If you look for a (talky) action fix this season look no further than this.

Potential: 75%

 

Sengoku Night Blood

Short Synopsis:  A girl is suddenly summoned into an alternate reality Sengoku Japan.

AidanAK47’s Review

Ah yes, the Sengoku period of Japan. Where everyone was fighting to unify the country, random girls are introduced to the major hierarchy of an army for no reason, the female species is nowhere in site, all guys are pretty boys or cat eared pretty boys and werewolves and vampires were everywhere…something tells me this show isn’t going for a historical portrayal. It’s funny that i have seen so many of these shows that I can actually recognise the historical figures names.(Or perhaps that’s thanks to Sengoku Rance) So this show is just so boring and by the numbers that I don’t see how anyone is going to get anything out of it unless they like pretending to be the piece of cardboard that is our protagonist and imagining playing with all the pretty boys. Of course she has no personality whatsoever and of course all the guys want to bonk her on the principle that she is special somehow or misinterpret her boring run of the mill traits as some sort of unique characteristics. Only other female mentioned is some missing princess that supposed to be super important and most certainly will turn out to be our main protagonist because I am gonna be damned if they let some other chick steal the spotlight. Not the target demographic here but come on, this story is just too lazy and boring. You deserve better than this trash.

Potential: 0%

Mario’s review

Gosh, this show is a mess. Something something fighting… someone someone get introduced and then the main guy literally climaxes after licking a girl’s blood. The plot functions like a typical isekai show where the girl gets transported into… another world where the feud happens between badass boys who have overpowered techniques and I bet each of them has their own special moves. This show has a problem that they introduce way too many characters and clans and not much time for the lead. The girl lead, in particular is so plain and unmemorable that it’s hard to root for her (what is her name, anyway?). The fights are pretty much just there, no context and there is absolutely no sense of danger anywhere. And then they mix vampire, werewolf and tanuki in the process… that the show become a hot mess. In fact, the whole story is so insignificant that by the time you finish this episode there is nothing to linger on. An install noodle for someone who have a weakness for boys fighting with each other using cool techniques and saying cool lines, otherwise stay far away from this.

Potential: 0%

 

Shokugeki no Souma S3

Short Synopsis: Yukihira Souma plots to break into the Elite 10 at Totsuki Academy.

Lenlo’s Review

Souma starts off incredibly underwhelming. Perhaps I am looking at the first two seasons with rose colored glasses, but Third Plate just looks like it has so little passion behind it. Overused chibi animation for every little thing, lots of panning still shots with only a moving mouth. All that, along with the problem that the prior to seasons and an OVA are basically mandatory watching will likely put off a lot of new people. That said, the arcs getting adapted this season are interesting. We get the Moon Festival and the start of a big storyline that’s still going on in the manga right now. Assuming that the animation is being saved for the cook-offs, that you either know the story up till now or don’t care, and are ok with the inevitable food based fan-service of Souma, I don’t see any harm in giving Souma a shot until the end of this first small arc.

Potential: 65%

Wooper’s Review

I’m a fan of Souma’s original 24-episode run, but its second season spent too much time on culinary combat and not enough on maintaining its quirky atmosphere. If its first episode is anything to go by, the third season is on the verge of making the same mistakes, although there’s a baseline of entertainment it ought to meet just by faithfully adapting the manga. Yukihira is already gunning for one of the top ten students at Totsuki here, and the entire episode was a dialogue-heavy setup for their eventual confrontation. The whole thing felt a bit too safe and familiar, but the series’ past strengths are enough to earn it a light recommendation. At this point, you already know whether you’re in or out, so if it’s more Souma you want, the third season’s two-cour order really ought to whet your appetite.

Potential: 50%

Posted by AidanAK47 on 7 October 2017 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

The IdolM@ster Side M

Short Synopsis: An independent male idol group consider going pro.

AidanAK47’s review

Considering the amount of male idol shows I have had to subject myself to, this actually comes out better than most. I guess because this feels like it’s actually trying with it’s story. Most Male Idol shows just throw you into the thick of it and introduce all the characters at once. making them just feel like they came of a production line to appeal to as mainstream an audience as possible. This story instead focuses on three of the idols to join the studio first and I appreciate that. The characters themselves are basic stereotypes (The tsundere hot headed one, the childish playful one, the older responsible one) but at least have a bit more going on for me to consider them actual characters instead of fetish placeholders. Again the biggest problem with judging these shows is that I am not the target demographic but this one didn’t make me want to bash my head against a wall or bore me out of my skull so it must be pretty alright by boy idol anime standards.

Potential: 20%

Mario’s review

You might think that episode 00 serves as a prequel for this series, while part of it was true, this 00 episode is a standalone story about one of the Idol group, Jupiter. One little detail that pique my interest is this is a story when Jupiter was an indie idol band. While it’s overpowered to have a band as young as they are, can manage all the deals, the band’s schedule, dealing with fans all by themselves, the spirit of “DIY” is there. There are some decent interactions here and there between the group and the agency guy, but everything else is mild and forgettable. This main lead is annoying though that he can’t even take simple criticism and I don’t get why they are half an hour length because they can easily cut the performance part and the story is still intact. With this season that is heavily on male idols (we have 2 more coming, along with girl idols Love Live Sunshine), I don’t even think this one can stand out as the best of that pack, and already that bar is pretty low to begin with.

Potential: 20%

 

UQ Holder! 2

Short Synopsis: The Grandson of Negi tries to earn the right to go to the capital city.

AidanAK47’s review

You know it’s a Ken Akamatsu work when the protagonist is getting beaten to death by the main heroine for little reason. Author of not only this but also Love Hina and Negima, there is a certain nostalgic charm to this. However there are problems, one is a reason I was not that interested in this manga and that’s because at the end of this episode they confirm that our main protagonists cannot die. In other works that more or less a given but in this case they literally cannot die. Which kind of drains away any tension from battle when they can recover from any wound no matter how grievous. The second thing that put me off this series is that I never really liked the cast of UQ holder that much. And the third is the fanservice, the kind of fanservice that was in the beginning of this episode and the large amount of fanservice to come. Not to mention lots of fanservice of characters of rather questionable age. A while back there was a law that was trying to be put in place to outlaw nude lolita depictions of anime characters due to it possibly being considered pedophile pornography and you can bet that Ken Akamatsu was right in the crosshairs due to his series having a large amount of that. Still if you can look past the fanservice there is some good action to be had and this is looking to be the strongest adaption of his work to date so there could be something watchable here.

Potential: 30%

Mario’s review

We have a generic shounen story that neither original nor ground-breaking, but for what it worth it’s still a serviceable one. Although billed as a sequel you don’t really need the knowledge of the original to follow this. It ticks pretty much on the boxes of tired tropes, and the story of a young boy who turn immortal is something that done countless time before in anime, even how this little episode turns out is by-the-book so in terms of plot, this episode fails hard. What it makes up is the chemistry between the boy and his guardian and the confident pacing that thankfully hold our attention till the end. What happens next is pretty predictable though, they going to the city, meeting new friends while the young boy hones his skills. At that I don’t get why she can grow her body despite being a vampire and the fanservice is way too blatant. Should provide a fun, mindless ride with some emotional attachments if you’re lucky but don’t expect anything serious about it.

Potential: 20%

 

Black Cover

Short Synopsis: A boy without magic in a world filled with tries to gain a magic grimoire.

AidanAK47’s review

A good anime is like programing code. You need it all to work in harmony and all it really take is one small mistake, one tiny aspect, and the whole thing can fall apart.I thought the main protagonist of this series could be annoying but reading the manga I had the joy of not having to listen to him. But here they decided to hire a terrible voice actor for him who shouts his every line. Good god, it’s annoying. He has this way of drawing out the end of his shouts as well as inflection and once you notice it, it grates on your nerves. Hopefully the SimulDub tones down this as other than this horrible voice actor this episode was fine. Pierrot is changing some things unnecessarily but other than that it’s a solid first episode for a shounen. If you are a shounen fan and can bear the shouting the protagonist then I say you could have fun with it. If his shouting is too annoying you can always try the dub to come soon. Animation was fine as well so this could be something watchable

Potential: 40%

Mario’s review

We have a generic shounen story that… Wait? Déjà vu? Despite having different settings Black Cover and UQ Holder share the same DNA – the plot is full of cliché and general tropes; the characters are one note and that cheap one-time antagonist. How many times before do we see a main hero who has no power turn out to be the best?? Black Cover has a more realized setting than UQ Holder, depicting the fantasy world that rely on using magic. But the main character… boy, is he annoying brat. Overact and loud all the time, he’s the lead that helps me greatly in dropping this series without hesitant. Moreover, this show also teach me a valuable lesson that animating iron chain is the kryptonite of CG animation since it’s jarring consider how out of place the iron chain with the rest. The relationship between the two leads will be what ride the story forward, although I admit that I’m not too interested to follow either the plot or their rivalry. An easy skip for me.

Potential: 10%

Posted by AidanAK47 on 6 October 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Made in Abyss

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the levels of a massive chasm called the abyss. With each level they encounter new people and monsters alike as they work together to survive the darwinian nature of the chasms ecosystem. The story boosts some of the finest presentation of the anime of the year alongside a gripping tale that never lets go till its conclusion. The characters are memorable though which each level brings a new cast to the forefront. Ozen and Nanochi are the strongest out the cast. But the dynamic between Riko’s optimistic easygoing attitude and Regu’s more negative questioning nature works well in exploring the morality and dangers of this world. The shows strongest aspect is the world building and atmosphere of the setting. Accentuated by the visuals the Abyss is truly a marvel of nature that makes for a fantastic backdrop.

The pacing may be a bit slow for some but I see no way to make it faster and the character designs may look kiddy and lighthearted but Made in Abyss holds darker themes. When it goes for the emotional gut punch it is often heavy and effective. It doesn’t shy away from the uglier side of nature and exploring as well as the dark parts of it’s history. Aside from one or two rare moments the animation in this show is excellent and the backgrounds are beautiful landscapes giving even the best artists in the industry a run for their money. Which isn’t all that surprising when you consider that a former Ghibli background artist worked on the series. The music is equally excellent with standouts like the series ending theme Tomorrow and Hanezeve Caradhina. Tomorrow being a personal favorite for how it closes out the series with melancholy nostalgia and wonder.

Sadly at the point of writing this review this is the only season of the series and the final episode does leave many loose ends behind. This season can be seen as a prologue of things to come and it’s lack of conclusion hurts the series as a whole. The pacing takes it’s time and because of it’s single cour length people could feel that the story didn’t truly get started. At the moment chances of a second season look promising but in the anime industry there are no guarantees. As such people could be left wanting more by the time the final credits roll which is something that could be considering a positive as this is basically an advertisement for the manga but I need to knock off points as this story works some much better as an animated product that I doubt the manga could match it’s level of presentation. Nonetheless what is present here is more than worth checking it out as it still has powerful moments, atmosphere and world building second to none. I have no doubt that this series will be seen as one of the best anime of 2017 in future years to come.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 4 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Made in Abyss

Normally when I finish a series I take a moment to think back on it and try to imagine just how I would make it better. Maybe better pacing or removing a certain character or story arc that went nowhere or just improving the animation at certain points. But with Made in Abyss I tried to do the same thing and found myself coming up blank. I really cannot see how this series could have been done better and in thinking of this I came to realise this series may have far more value that I initially realised. Potentially the value to be called a future classic of the genre but that may be me getting ahead of myself. Well the finale of this series goes out with a bang as we have a double length episode to close out the series. The majority of this episode detailed about how Nanochi began living in the abyss and how she and Mitty came to be twisted into the forms they are now. Finally ending off with Mitty being mercy killed and Nanochi joining Riko and Regu on their journey to the bottom of the abyss. I was right that with Nanochi added to the group that the group dynamic is far better as a whole. Nanochi adds a playfulness that makes the interactions more fun to watch and I am certain she would be a boon in the future of the story.

There were a lot of emotional moments during this finale and this may just be the best episode of the series. Bondrewd looks to be trying to make up for his lack of presence throughout the series by pumping all his villain credibility into this one episode wherein his actions are so morally disgusting that I was wishing for his death by the halfway point of this episode. The transformation of the two girls was absolutely brutal with Mitty’s horrific dissolving into a tangled genetic mess being the stuff of nightmares. I pray some ignorant parent does not mistake this show for a children’s cartoon or this would be a level of trauma they might not get back from. Provided they made it through the arm breaking scene. Though as disturbing as it may be that didn’t quite affect me due to my resistance built up over the years. However to my absolute shock the death of Mitty hit me harder than I ever thought it would. I didn’t think I would find her death so tragic but i found myself welling with emotion at Nanochi setting up the toys and comforting Mitty in her last moments. The dam broke when Nanochi had a brief moment of regret, calling off Regu and hugging Mitty while apologizing, only to walk back and ask Regu to kill her again. I didn’t cry buckets but tears did roll down my face and being the soulless husk that i am, I consider any show that can wringe that level of emotion out of me something truly special. As a side note i was surprised to see that Riko has a scar after all the treatment.With years of watching anime where in bandages heal all wounds without a single blemish it’s great to see some lasting consequences.

Sadly though I say I have trouble imagining this show being better, if there is one flaw I could truly pick out it would be this. The show ended at the point it wasn’t supposed to end. In the final minutes the main cast has come together, the main villain(At this time) has been made apparent and this truly is the real beginning of this story. Suddenly roll credits. Want more? Read the manga. The chances of a second season are not quite grim and I would like to believe that a show as good as this would get the sales it deserves. However anime continuation has always been tied to the sales of its source and no matter how good it is, if there is no return from that then there is no second season. It’s a sad thing that adapting a source to competition is the exception rather than the norm. I thought about picking up the manga again on this series end but as I saw the small balloon float through the various beautiful levels of the abyss with that evocative melody playing I realised that without the music, sound, colour and gorgeous backgrounds that this series just wouldn’t have the same level of impact. The artwork of the manga is nothing to scoff at but I still doubt it can bring forth the same magical feeling and atmosphere of the anime. So I will hold off on reading this group’s future adventures until I can be certain no second season is coming. Then I will jump in due to necessity. Hopefully that will not be the case. For now despite it’s incomplete nature I am willing to say this will be making it into my best anime of the year list.

CHANGE USERNAME
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
AidanAK47
I am in some ways both relieved and disappointed.
AidanAK47
Well I got the day off work and the only thing that happened was that it was a bit windy. Wasn't really a big deal to be honest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats the word on your end Aidan with regards to the Hurricane?
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course raging bull, a rare case where I watched a film twice.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I've always, apart from Creed, ignored the Rocky sequels despite enjoying the first one, not really into watching a billion followups to a film. Films about fighters seem to connect with me, I got alot out of warrior, southpaw and Rocky.
KTravlos
I was surprised by how well Ancient Magus Bride was able to sell to me the naturalness of Elia's skull head, and the falseness of his conjured human head. Well done.
Lenlo
I do love a good boxing anime. Both Ashita no Joe and Hajime no Ippo are great, though for different reasons.
Vonter
Simply put, unlike Hajime no Ippo. Ashita no Joe, also was mainly about Joe, living in a poor rural town, struggling to make a living, and boxing came out as something that gave him meaning. Instead of the typical shounen of "becoming the best".
Vonter
I think it's bold when someone announced they want to make something like "the next Rocky". Since that's apparently what I get from this announcement. https://manga.tokyo/news/original-anime-megalo-box-inspired-by-ashita-no-joe-announced-for-spring-2018/
CJayTiii
Just watched Heaven's Feel Part 1 at the movie theater last night. DEAR LORD the animation was flawless. I honestly thought they nailed the calmer scenes a lot better than UBW as well. The wait for part 2 is gonna be brutal...
Amagi
Isekai isn't even bad, it's just that it became the worst case of formularic wish fulfillment masturbation nowadays. I actually wish we would get more proper isekai anime again, especially if it's some scifi or time travel stuff for once
AidanAK47
You know thinking about it, Muv Luv Alternative could be considered a deconstruction of Isekai before Isekai was even a thing. After all it actually has the elements of of Isekai.
AidanAK47
Gonna do up a review of the trilogy. Though first I need to post that Subahibi review I have had sitting in my Google docs. Twas waiting till we got the impressions done with.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I remember checking out Muv Luv and not being too impressed about it. When i cheeked out Alternative years ago I was blown away by how good it was. Usually VNs have moments of downtime where it can get boring no matter how good they are. But Alternative just had you from start to finish.
Amagi
@Aidan: Muv Luv Alt is one of the best VNs I've read. I am happy I always avoided spoilers before. The only thing I knew was that it gets heavy around chapter 6 or 7.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thanks for letting me know before I bothered booking for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the plot doesn't make sense. As the story progresses, it gets weirder, the visual goes wilder and the ending doesn't wrap up much. I might need to watch the live-action version
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: See you rated fireworks 3 1/2, what did you think of it?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I suppose, same to you, hopefully you'll be alright.
Total users: 42

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